Although the official Eid date hadn’t been announced, the public holidays had been so we headed off for the weekend to Fujariah.
Fujariah is one of the 7 emirates and unlike the others that are all desert, Fujariah is almost totally mountainous. It is also the only emirate on the Gulf of Oman, the others all border the Persian Gulf (there’s todays geography lesson). The drive up was great, we didn’t go the most direct way as we had to stop in Dubai at the bike shop (yes, I know you are all surprised by that one), but once we hit Fujariah the mountains, although not green they made a nice change from the desert. We also went past the UAE version of Mt Rushmore… apparently patriotic vandalism is ok.
We stayed at the JAL beach resort just outside Dibba (Daba to the Omanians). As the name suggests it is run by the Japanese airline and seems to do a lot of fly in golf holidays from Japan. Personally I am still trying to work out why people would subject themselves to a game of golf in this heat! Apart from check-in where they gave us the wrong room, the hotel was great and the staff fantastic! They were so friendly and helpful and the kids had a ball. It’s the first time Lachie and Charlotte have really been into kids club (they had one specially for 3-6 year olds), whenever we went to pick them up they claimed they were not hungry or ready to go. So Clint and I were lucky enough to steal some time to ourselves in a place where vodka is cheaper than a milkshake! We spent the weekend relaxing and the kids did a lot of swimming in the numerous pools. Lachie also enjoyed the small ocean water park, although he wasnt to sure about having to wear the life jacket to swim out there.
Top- hotel from the pier, Lachie and Clint head out to play in the ocean
Middle- in the pool
Bottom- musical hat game
We woke up Sunday morning to find Ramadan was over and it was time to celebrate Eid. Apparently the U.A.E moon sighting committee went up in their plane, saw the moon and made the announcement at 8:15pm Saturday night (nothing like leaving it till the last minute). Although the hotel was already great, we noticed a difference with the end of Ramadan immediately: music in the lift, hallways, tunes pumping by the pool, pool bar open and outside dining to name a few.
The kids also loved the breakfast buffet, no surprises there once the kids discovered the numerous chocolate items on offer. They ate so much they actually refused ice-cream when it was offered (yep, ice-cream at breakfast time… and they wonder why diabetes is a problem.) For a hotel that was booked out, it is so well designed you don’t feel crowded at all. All the rooms overlook the Indian Ocean/ Gulf of Oman and the buildings are only 3 or 4 stories (unlike the monstrous Dubai hotels), when the kids were in bed we were able to sit out on the balcony overlooking the pool and listen to the waves crashing in… very peaceful!
When we left the resort, we drove back through the town of Fujariah which is apparently the safest city in the U. A.E, I think that may have something to do with the public lashings you can still witness in the city centre on Fridays for minor offences. The drive along the coast and mountains to the Oman border was lovely but the kids didn’t get much out of it, but a sing a long to the Wiggles kept them occupied.
Hopefully we will get ourselves organised for a few more weekend escapes so we can explore a bit more of what the UAE has to offer.